The Burning Crows have just released their second album ‘Murder At The Gin House’. Here we catch-up with the band for a chat about their new album, touring and how they met their producer…
Brief history of the band and how you got together…
We’ve all known each other since we were mere boys which, upon reflection, is far too long now and we’re probably due a good punch up sometime soon to be honest. Not really. Well, maybe a little. Just not with the bass player. Have you seen Game Of Thrones? They based The Mountain on him.
As for The Burning Crows, we released our first EP ‘Never Had It So Good’ back in 2012, followed by our debut album ‘Behind The Veil’ in 2013, then came a live album, cleverly named ‘Live! …From Behind The Veil’ and now we’ve just released our second album ‘Murder At The Gin House’. In between all that we’ve made a load of videos, toured the country several times and made friends with The Quireboys and Falling Red. We also drank gin. A lot of gin. Then after we finished drinking gin, we copyrighted a ‘hashtag’ about drinking a lot of gin. It’s called Gin It and you write it like this: #GinIt
What have you got planned for the next few months e.g. recording, touring, etc.
Well, now we’ve finished the album, we’re going to dedicate the vast majority of our time to gin and jet skiing in the sun. In between that, though, we’re touring the country again in September with the very handsome Dust Bowl Jokies from Sweden and releasing a load of new videos to go with the singles from the album.
Could you please take us through the songs on your debut album ‘Murder At The Gin House’? (e.g. song writing process, stories behind the songs etc.)
You know, we always hear people say or see reviewers writing ‘The Burning Crows are trying to sound like….’ when the truth and reality of the matter is we don’t try to sound like anything at all, that’s just what we sound like. There’s a lot of different influences in the band from extreme virgin destroying metal through to good ol’ country Honky Tonk music, so naturally there’s always going to be certain things that people hear and compare us to but, as far as the songs go, we’ve never set out to write a particular kind of song. Ever.
It will usually start with a vocal melody or lyric then the rest of the song will just fall into place around it and it all grows organically. I suppose the key thing for a lot of people is subject matter so, to be honest, we don’t pretend to know the first thing about politics or famine. That’s not to say that maybe they’re not important, but if nothing else, we’d hope our stuff is a little more uplifting than that unbearable and dreary tosser Morrissey, so we stick to the stuff we know about: drinking and girls. Then again, there’s tracks like ‘Holding On’ which is about friends and family we’ve lost, so there’s always a few surprises.
How did the band hook-up with producer Nick Brine?
POF.com. Turns out he’s a complete bastard. We shan’t be working together again. Not really. He is a bastard, though. Our guitarist Lance had met Nick through the band he was in before The Burning Crows, so when it came to doing the first EP he was the first man we called. By a happy coincidence it all just clicked. He’s done all the albums since and we’ve never looked back. He just gets it. How it should sound, what the songs should do, when to go to the pub. He just knows and has become the silent 5th member of the band. He’s also now self-proclaimed King of Wales, where we record at the legendary Rockfield Studios – and he loves Sir Tom Jones, too, which in truth is probably what sealed the deal.
There are a lot of newer rock bands coming through in the UK like yourselves. Have you seen an upswing in the interest in live rock music in the UK? Or is it possibly in danger, given the amount of live venues, particularly in London, that are closing/facing closure?
It would be nice to say ‘it’s thriving’ but it seems to be getting worse, and the sad truth is you can’t blame people for it. Money is tight for a lot of people, right? You can download albums for free, you can watch concerts on YouTube and, unfortunately for bands, it costs hard cash to make an album and put on a show. But ultimately that’s where you make your money back. Merch and tickets. But no punters, no bands. No bands, no punters. No punters, no venues.
It’s a lot harder now, even since we started out, but that said, there are a lot of people out there who do support the scene and we’re lucky to have a dedicated fan base who travel round the country to see us, buy the albums and generally keep us going – if you’re reading now ladies and gents, as always, Thank You!!!
You’ve used a Pledge Music campaign to fund both your albums to date. How important is this form of fan funding for an up and coming band like the Burning Crows? What sort of treats did you offer fans who pledged?
As we mentioned before, it costs A LOT of money to make a proper record and, truth be told, the only labels who seem to have the cash to make them are the BIG labels who don’t really touch new bands because there’s no guarantee of a return on the investment with the way the market is now. Sorry if we seem all doom and gloom – we’re really not – but this is just the way it is. With that in mind, the way PledgeMusic operates has completely turned the game on its head.
You don’t need a big label to fund an album anymore. If fans want it they pre-order it and in turn help you pay for it, thus completely cutting out the middle man and giving you a straight to fan service. It’s brilliant and without it there’s no way we could have come as far as we have. The cool thing about Pledge though is the interaction with people. They get to see behind the scenes and watch the album grow from a load of demos recorded on a phone into the finished album they get ahead of the official release date at the end. There’s always exclusive merch and incentives too. Roger in Germany pledged for one of my guitars and we even had a couple of our mates, John and Ossie, spend a week with us in Rockfield for their honeymoon!
What would you like the band to achieve by the end of this year?
Total. World. Domination. That’s the idea, right? Go big or go home. Some of our biker mates would say ‘Flat out or Fuck Off’ but I’m not sure if you can print that? Oh, also a gin Sponsor. Maybe a single with Sir Tom. Actually, definitely a single with Sir Tom.
What has been the favourite live show(s) to date and why?
There’s been too many. Usually the shows where you get to have a few drinks with everyone after, then wake up the next day wondering what decisions you could have possibly made in life to feel like you do the morning after. Touring is a lot of fun, though, and the whole of the last tour with Falling Red was brilliant from start to finish. If you’re reading by the way: Dave, Rozey, Mikey & Danny – Fook you ya bastards!!!
Actually, Glasgow from that tour was hilarious. Great gig, great crowd, then Lance and [Falling Red’s] Mikey joined a casino at 5am and proceeded to lose all the band cash, so we went for gin or ten in the morning and nearly missed the train to the last show of the tour. Genius. Oh, and there was the time Will [The Burning Crows’ bassist] threw up in his own mouth on stage…
Outside of music what do you enjoy doing?
The same as everyone else really. Drinking. McDonalds. Game of Thrones. Drinking. A bit of gardening. Drinking. Then after that we usually go for a spot of lunch and a stroll by the river to feed the ducks. Will likes ducks. Actually he likes a wide variety of waterfowl. He’s the self-proclaimed Bill Oddie of the band.
Message for you fans…
Thanks for reading ladies & gents, thanks for buying the album, thanks for coming to the shows, thanks for everything – it’s means the world and we love you all :)
The Burning Crows new album ‘Murder At The Gin House’ is out now http://www.theburningcrows.com/#store.php
5th September – Rock Haven, Lincoln (with Wildside Riot)
9th September – The Underworld, Camden (with Dust Bowl Jokies and The Smokin’ Prophets)
10th September – Trillians, Newcastle upon Tyne (with Dust Bowl Jokies and Self Inflicted)
11th September – The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich (with Dust Bowl Jokies and Reckless Caution)
3rd October – The Doghouse, Nottingham (Aces High Festival)
17th October – Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth (Krushfest)
The Burning Crows Online:
Video: ‘Shine’ – https://youtu.be/KZAP76hK-EM
Check out Canadian singer songwriter Josh Taerk and his exclusive live session via Get Ready to ROCK!’s Facebook page
In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)
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Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)
Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
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